Boxfish

fast facts

About Boxfish

Group
Saltwater
Size
Medium/Large
Temperament
Community Aggressive
Aquarium Size
Large (55 gal+)
Swimming Region
Middle
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Butterflies, Clownfish, Gobies, Damsels, Hogfish, Parrotfish and Tangs
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly care
Boxfish General description


Also known as trunkfish, cowfish and cofferfish; boxfish are a family of bony marine fish. They are characterized by their square shaped body and heavy armored scales. Due to their odd shape and heavy scales, they are extremely slow swimmers. Juveniles are more rounded in shape and exhibit brighter colorations than their adult counterparts. Various species grow to different sizes ranging from 3 to 18 inches.


Also known as trunkfish, cowfish and cofferfish; boxfish are a family of bony marine fish.


Origins


These fish originate primarily in the Pacific Ocean.


Color


Boxfishes come in a variety of colorations ranging from yellow, blue, brown and black.


Maintenance and care

One of the most important things to remember when choosing tank mates for boxfish is that they should not be kept with aggressive or predatory fish. When feeling threatened or stressed, they are known to emit a toxin through their skin which can harm and even kill other species of fish. For this reason it is best to keep them with more peaceful tank mates. These fish are generally peaceful towards other species of fish but can turn aggressive towards members of their own species. If keeping more than one in an aquarium it is advisable to only attempt to keep two or more females together.


Another important consideration when choosing boxfish is their potential size. The different species have varying sizes and it is important to research their growth potential before deciding to purchase them. They also thrive in aquariums with plenty of hiding places and open swimming areas. They also prey on invertebrates and will attempt to eat any coral in an aquarium, making them unsuitable for reef aquariums. Boxfish are hearty eaters produce a significant amount of waste making an adequate filtration system a prime concern for the aquarium.


Feeding


It is important to feed boxfish on a varied diet of both meaty and vegetarian foods. They will readily accept meaty foods such as shrimp, crab meat and mussels and green foods such as frozen peas, boiled lettuce and dried seaweed.


One of the most important things to remember when choosing tank mates for boxfish is that they should not be kept with aggressive or predatory fish.


Breeding


Breeding boxfish is not a task that has been achieved with any regularity in the aquarium.


Aquarium varieties


Yellow, Bluespotted, Longhorned, Buffalo, etc.


Photo Credit: Alfonso González/Flickr; Nemo’s great uncle/Flickr

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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